When it comes to food, Hanoi is a paradise for street food lovers. The city can easily tempt you to spend your days indulging in its diverse culinary offerings. For us, trying local food is just as important as exploring the historical landmarks of a place we visit. Our time in Hanoi was a flavorful journey that made us realize even a week wasn’t sufficient to sample all the amazing street food options. From timeless favorites like pho and banh mi to lesser-known gems like bun cha and banh cuon, the variety was astonishing. And let’s not forget the unforgettable ca phe trung, those delightful egg coffees!
The charm of a Vietnamese street food scene is something we absolutely adore—the simple setup of plastic stools on the sidewalk, with motorbikes whizzing past. And what’s even better? The affordable prices for such mouthwatering dishes!
When exploring a new city, we always make it a point to discover the best local eateries and savor their authentic cuisine. That’s why we put in thorough research in advance and often join street food tours to uncover hidden culinary treasures. And now, we’re excited to share a compilation of Hanoi street food spots that, in our opinion, are exceptional and definitely worth a try. If you’re planning to visit Hanoi and share our passion for Vietnamese food, this Hanoi street food guide will undoubtedly come in handy.
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Vietnamese Street Food You Must Try in Hanoi
Phở – Noodle Soup
An iconic Vietnamese staple, Pho is a flavorful noodle soup with thinly sliced beef (bo) or chicken (ga), aromatic herbs like cilantro and basil, and a savory broth that’s simmered for hours. It’s often enjoyed for breakfast or any time of day. Often they also serve a side plate with extra fresh herbs and chilies, that you can add to your bowl to your liking.
Banh Mi – Vietnamese Sandwich
Arguably the most well-known Vietnamese dish worldwide! Banh Mi is Hanoi’s version of the French baguette sandwich, where banh mi is the Vietnamese word for “bread” however most people use it to refer to the sandwich. Banh Mi combines various fillings like cold cuts, pâté, grilled meats, fried eggs, carrots, cucumber, cilantro, and pickled vegetables. You will find this famous sandwich everywhere, and is the easiest and cheapest snack in between all the sightseeing!
Bun Cha – Grilled Pork Noodles
This dish features grilled pork patties and slices served over vermicelli noodles. It’s accompanied by a dipping sauce made from fish sauce, sugar, vinegar, and chili, along with a side of fresh herbs and vegetables. In Hanoi, it also happens that the pork patties are served inside the sauce bowl together with pickled vegetables. Often served with a portion of nem (fried spring rolls); It’s the dish the late Anthony Bourdain ate together with Barack Obama when in Hanoi at Bún chả Hương Liên.
Gỏi Cuốn or Nem Cuốn – Fresh Spring Rolls
Also called fresh spring rolls or summer rolls, Goi Cuon are translucent rice paper rolls filled with shrimp or pork, herbs, rice vermicelli, and sometimes, a crunch of fried shallots. They’re typically served with peanut sauce or hoisin sauce.
Cha Ca – Fried Fish Cake
This specialty centers around marinated fish, typically catfish, that’s been grilled with turmeric and dill. Served sizzling in a pan, it’s accompanied by rice noodles, herbs, peanuts, and shrimp paste.
Banh Cuon – Steamed Rice Rolls
Banh Cuon is a Vietnamese delicacy made from thin rice crepes filled with minced pork and wood ear mushrooms. These delicate crepes are rolled with a flavorful filling and served with fried shallots on top. Often enjoyed with a tangy dipping sauce.
Nem Rán – Fried Spring Rolls
Nem Rán, also known as Vietnamese Fried Spring Rolls, is a beloved street food in Hanoi. These crispy delights feature a filling of ground pork, shrimp, vegetables, and sometimes glass noodles, all tightly wrapped in a rice paper sheet and deep-fried until golden and crunchy. These fried spring rolls are often served with lettuce, herbs, and a dipping sauce, making them a popular appetizer or snack choice in Hanoi’s street food scene.
Che – Sweet Dessert Soup
Che refers to a variety of sweet dessert soups made with ingredients like beans, fruits, jellies, and rice. These colorful and flavorful desserts are often topped with coconut milk for a creamy finish.
Cà Phê Trứng – Egg coffee
A Vietnamese specialty, Egg Coffee is a creamy drink featuring strong Vietnamese coffee topped with a frothy mix of egg yolks, sugar, and condensed milk. Served hot or cold, this unique combination results in a smooth, bittersweet treat that’s a must-try in Hanoi’s street food offerings.
We wrote a whole article listing the best cafes in Hanoi for Vietnamese coffee!
JOIN A STREET FOOD TOUR IN HANOI
The ultimate introduction to Vietnamese street food? Embark on a street food tour! Our first evening in Hanoi was made unforgettable by a delightful small-group street food adventure led by Minh, our fantastic guide. Amidst exploring the bustling streets, we sampled Hanoi’s finest dishes. Minh’s expertise led us to hidden gems we’d have missed otherwise. With insights into each dish’s nuances, alongside fascinating tidbits about Hanoi and its culinary scene, this tour emerged as a highlight of our trip. Without a doubt, an experience we wholeheartedly endorse!
Best Street Food Places in Hanoi
Bánh mì cô Chun
Let’s dive right in with the ultimate favorite: banh mi. For us, Bánh mì cô Chun in Hanoi takes the crown. It was a serendipitous discovery on our final day, and oh, the regret of not finding it sooner! The Banh Mi was pure delight, both in taste and price. We opted for the pate bread with Char Siu Meat, a steal at 20,000 Dong each (less than $1!). The bread was fresh and crispy, the meat tender, with just the right kick of spiciness. Vegan options are on the menu too.
Don’t miss the kumquat tea—it’s a must. Special shoutout to the young owner who only recently opened his shop, made our visit even more memorable with his kindness and enthusiasm. The passion he has for what he does shines through. The quaint space has a few outdoor seats for people-watching. It’s cozy and charming (bonus: there are small tables upstairs). A gem of a place we can’t praise enough!
Bánh Mì Ngọc Thuốc
Another standout for us was just down the street: Bánh Mì Ngọc Thuốc. It’s hard to get more authentic than this spot, as many would agree. It’s a hidden gem, a tad tricky to spot, but Google’s pictures make it easier to track down. Locals and savvy tourists seem to be in the know about it.
We opted for the pate and egg Banh Mi for breakfast, and their coffee hit the spot too. The array of veggies added various flavors, making every bite interesting. The baguette for my Banh Mi was warm and fresh, a perfect match for the eggs and veggies. The homemade chili sauce was a revelation—spicy, sweet, and a touch of zesty lime. And yes, vegetarians are catered for too!
Can you believe the price? Around 25,000 dong each (~$1). It’s a steal for what you get. Overall, we left this little eatery thoroughly impressed—delicious food, and great value. The staff were warm and quick in preparing our food.
Banh Mi Hoi An – Bami Bread
Banh Mi Hoi An, also known as Bami Bread, welcomed us to Hanoi with a bang. No disappointment here! The buzz is growing, so a short wait might be in store – trust me, it’s worth it.
They specialize in “Hoi-An-style” banh mi. Our pick was the Hoi An Special, starring pate, slow-roasted pork, pickled veggies, coriander, and a hush-hush sauce. For 30,000 dong, plus a 15,000 dong kumquat drink.
Hoi An’s bread is different—thinner, crispier, lighter. It soaks up the pork’s juices beautifully, finding that sweet spot between meat and fat. Oh, the meat! Tender, juicy, spectacular. Made right in front of you, with top-notch, fresh ingredients. You grab and go, as their indoor setup is compact, featuring just a few chairs.
Let’s talk about another all-time favorite in Vietnam: pho, the classic noodle soup! When you’re deciding where to eat in Hanoi, make sure PHỞ 213 is on your radar. This place really won us over with its comforting noodle soup.
The broth at PHỞ 213 is a true masterpiece of flavors—rich, deep, and incredibly satisfying. They’re also quite generous with the meat, giving you a lot for your money. You can choose either chicken or beef pho, and we went with the beef. The beef was sliced thinly and cooked perfectly, making every bite juicy and flavorful.
The owner, who is really lovely, suggested a fantastic combination: pairing our pho with their crispy deep-fried bread known as banh dau chao quay. This added a new dimension to the flavors, creating an incredibly delicious experience. The pho dishes cost around 50,000 dong (~$2), and the fried bread, labeled as “bagel twist” on the menu, is an extra 5,000 dong. For a peaceful meal, there’s plenty of indoor seating where you can fully enjoy your bowl of tasty noodles.
Phở Bò 8 Hàng Da
Phở Bò 8 Hàng Da is a true gem of Hanoi street food. It was our very first stop upon arriving in Hanoi, and let me tell you, that bowl of pho lived up to all our Vietnamese food dreams! This spot is a must-try when exploring Hanoi’s street food scene, conveniently just a block away from the famous Hanoi train street.
What sets this place apart? It’s not just the unbeatable broth or the perfect noodle texture. The broth is a fragrant symphony, balanced with a touch of sweetness, while the meat is tender and bursting with flavor. Toss in some spicy peppers and deep-fried bread, and you’ve got yourself a fulfilling Vietnamese dinner. The best part? It’s budget-friendly, with pho bowls priced at around 50,000 dong, and they even throw in complimentary fried bread sticks!
Beyond the food, the setting and atmosphere were equally enchanting. This place is filled with locals, including lovely grandmas. It’s a bit off the tourist radar, but that’s what makes it special. The staff may not speak English, and the menu is entirely in Vietnamese, so having Google Translate on hand for menu navigation is a smart move. With two floors, finding a seat is rarely an issue, even though the place can get packed.
We discovered this treasure during a street food tour on our second night—something we wholeheartedly recommend for an exciting introduction to Hanoi’s street food scene. Phở Dung was our very first stop, guided by Minh through snug alleyways. We settled into low plastic chairs and dove into their version of ‘dry’ Phở gà (chicken). At 40,000 dong, it’s a steal (the picture shows a sample; direct orders are generously portioned).
The ‘dry’ Pho gà features similar ingredients to regular pho, sans the broth, replaced by a tantalizing vinegar sauce. Squeeze in some lime, and bam! An explosion of flavors. This traditional Vietnamese chicken noodle dish was an absolute revelation.
What took this street-style Pho Ga to the next level? It’s tucked-away location and authentic charm. Off the tourist path, this hidden gem offered an immersive experience, showcasing the genuine essence of Vietnamese street food culture. This spot was everything we hoped for in Hanoi: a warm family operation and a simple yet scrumptious menu. The kind of place Anthony Bourdain would have sung praises about.
Nem Nướng Nha Trang Quế Hoa
Conveniently situated near Hoàn Kiếm Lake in the old quarter, this place is consistently bustling. Renowned for their Nem Nướng, or Summer Rolls, these rolls are a joy to eat and even more delightful in flavor. You get an array of fillings on a big plate —meat, noodles, herbs, veggies, and sauce. Load up a rice paper, wrap it tight, and dip it in the provided sauce.
Now, the peanut sauce deserves a special mention. It’s simply heavenly, the kind that tempts you to lick out the bowl. The fresh vegetables create a wonderful contrast to the savory meat patty. The Summer Roll platter is priced at 45,000 VND. You’ll be surprised by the generous portion, making about 6 rolls—an incredible value for the price. An authentic and enjoyable experience, all rolled into one!
Bún Cá Sâm Cây Si
Bún Cá Sâm Cây Si was yet another gem we uncovered during our street food tour in Hanoi—places like these are the ones you might never stumble upon on your own! But boy, was it a discovery. Tucked away in the depths of dark alleys, we had to navigate through a local-filled alley—always a sign of fantastic food ahead!
Their specialty? Rice noodle soup with deep-fried fish and fish skin as the stars (Bún Cá). We opted for the dry version of Hu Tiu Noodle with Fried Fish Skin on top (Hủ Tíu Cá Trộn)—and what a pleasant surprise it turned out to be! Despite not being a big fan of fish usually, this dish was a revelation. It was like nothing we’ve ever tasted before, and every bite was absolutely worth it.
We also delved into their deep-fried fish spring roll (Cá cuốn), which was a delightful twist. The spring roll’s outer layer was crafted from fish meat, while the inner part was filled with minced meat. The authenticity of this place shines through both in its atmosphere and its fantastic food. The vibe is delightful, and the service is top-notch. If you’re a fan of flavorful fish dishes, this place is a must-visit!
Bun Cha Ta
Now, let’s delve into another quintessential Hanoi delight: Bun Cha. We stumbled upon this gem while researching Hanoi’s street food, never having heard of it before. Bun Cha Ta is all about serving “street food at its finest,” with speedy and excellent service to boot. This place is increasingly popular with tourists, the fact that locals frequent it speaks volumes about its authenticity and quality.
Bun Cha is a Vietnamese wonder: juicy grilled pork and veggies soaking in a delectable broth. They pair this with vermicelli rice noodles that you dip into the broth, accompanied by fried spring rolls, herbs, and dipping sauce. The magic happens when you combine all these elements in a single bowl. The hosts were incredibly friendly and even gave us a lesson in the proper way to enjoy the dish.
The pork? Incredibly tender. Its sweetness beautifully complemented the slight tanginess of the broth. And the spring rolls? They were crispy and refreshing. If you’re searching for exceptional street food in Hanoi, this place is a definite winner.
Now, let’s talk about the value. This whole meal left us wonderfully satisfied and cost around 150,000 VND ($6,50). A pretty good deal considering the inviting and clean atmosphere. Upstairs, there’s a cozy seating area at floor level. For those eager to savor the best of Vietnamese cuisine and indulge in Bun Cha at its finest, this place is a definite must-visit.
Bánh bao Bình Mỗ
We came across this place since it was conveniently close to our hotel in Hanoi. Feeling a bit hungry and in the mood for a snack, we decided to give their baos a try. And wow, were they delicious! The baos at Bánh bao Bình Mỗ instantly reminded us of the ones we enjoyed in China. They offer different fillings to choose from, like stir-fried beef, steamed chicken, and salted egg. Our favorite was the Char Siu and cheese combo.
Everything was freshly made, and the dumplings arrived warm and packed with flavor. The buns were soft, moist, and really tasty. They were so good that we found ourselves going back for more just a few hours later. While they do have a variety of banh mi sandwiches on offer, we were here specifically for their baos. You pick your favorite, and they steam it right there as you take a seat on their plastic stools. It’s as good as it gets! In terms of prices, a bao with filling costs around 20,000 dong—quite a good deal for the deliciousness you get.
Chè Ngon 93
If you’re up for exploring a Vietnamese dessert, especially the renowned sweet soup known as “Che” you’ve got to make your way to this truly authentic dessert haven. It’s a local favorite, offering a wide array of sweet treats. The menu is an extensive one, showcasing a diverse selection of desserts—thankfully, it’s accompanied by pictures! While we couldn’t remember every detail of what we picked, we pointed at something that caught our eye, covered in luscious coconut milk. And let me tell you, we enjoyed every bite of it. The flavors were truly intriguing and had that distinct Vietnamese and Southeast Asian touch.
Of course, we couldn’t resist trying their coconut ice cream with sticky rice (kem xoi), and it was like a taste of heaven! The multitude of options here can make you feel like trying them all.
You’ll find both outdoor and indoor seating options at this place. Simply choose a spot and wait for the friendly staff to come take your order. Prices vary, ranging from 20k to 30k dong—a fantastic deal for the delightful experience you’ll have.
Bonus discovery alert! Now, I’ll admit, this one might not be your traditional Vietnamese treat—it’s got a definite French influence. We suspect it’s part of a franchise. It’s called Beard Papa’s, and it’s famous for its profiteroles or cream puffs. So, on our final day in Hanoi, Frédérique was really craving something sweet for breakfast after indulging in all those Bahn mi. Lo and behold, we stumbled upon this place just around the corner from our hotel.
Now, granted, these treats are typically desserts, but hey, who’s keeping track? We went for a mix of the classic ones filled with vanilla pastry cream and some covered in chocolate (they call them éclairs on the menu). They’re priced at 35,000 to 39,000 dong each. One thing we absolutely loved was that they only fill them when you place your order. This ensures they’re fresh and wonderfully crisp!
We opted to take them to-go and cozied up in one of the most authentic local cafés around. It was a scene straight out of everyday life: older locals enjoying a smoke with their caphe. We ordered a few coffees for ourselves and relished these cream puffs for breakfast—pure heaven!
Vietnam Essential Resources
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HOTELS | Browse Booking.com for accommodations in Vietnam, from budget hostels to luxury hotels.
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